Often times when I tell people that I am beginning a detox or leading a detox program, visions of lemon juice water and cayenne pepper for weeks come to mind. And while there is a cleanse that exists that consists of those items, there are so many other options out there.
Choosing the detox that is right for you can be taxing and toxic in and of itself! Don’t stress! The word detox shouldn’t leave you fear-stricken + confused every time you hear it. Detox truly is about rejuvenation, reflection, replenishment, health, wellness, and healing. I am going to tell you my top 5 things to consider when choosing a detox program. My hope is that you can use these points to find healthy balance while detoxing and that you are not overwhelmed before you even start!
1. Define Your Goals
I really cannot emphasize this point enough. Your goals will lead you the right program every time. If your goal is to learn about healthy eating for your lifetime, choosing a program that is based solely on juicing won’t get you to your goal. Perhaps your goal is to clean out your ‘pipes’ for the weekend by juicing; choosing a 21-day superfoods program probably won’t meet your needs.
I have a few thoughts on goal-setting. Perhaps this will get a little too ‘corporate’, but I do believe the S.M.A.R.T. tool to be useful. Setting SMART goals means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. For example, if you want to have the goal of “losing weight”, what will be an indicator of success for you? “Losing weight” doesn’t give your clarity into your goal. To make “losing weight” a SMART goal, I would write it out like this: To maintain health, I want to lose the 5 lbs I gained over the Christmas holiday by January 31st. This goal is specific in nature, clearly measurable, attainable with hard work and not too far out of reach, relevant to my over all goal of being healthy, and it has a deadline.
Reflect on where you have been, and decide where you want to go. Define your goals and…
2. Do Your Research
After you have defined your goals, become BFF’s with Google. Scan program guides, read program reviews, talk to others who have done similar detoxes, and even reach out to the individual or business who runs the detox if you have questions. Does the program include food or supplements you must buy from the company/individual? Does the program include materials and guides to help you along the way? Does the program have specific restrictions or limitations (calorie counting, only meat, only veggies, only drinking juice, eating only twice a day, etc). Each detox program is designed to meet a specific goal, and researching will allow you to see which program aligns with your specific health goals and individual needs.
3. Question the Program’s Sustainability + Maintainability
Is this a lifestyle change? Can you sustain and maintain the program for any length of time after it finishes? These are important questions to answer before choosing the detox that is right for you. This should also clearly align with your goals. If you want to learn about healthy eating as a lifestyle change, choosing a 7-day juice fast may not be the best approach.
4. Contemplate Going Group vs Solo
Accountability, accountability, accountability!! If your home girl is cutting back on carbs and hitting the gym, she is going to make damn sure you are doing it too. You can’t hit the snooze button if someone is standing in the cold waiting for you at the park at 5:30 a.m. If you know someone is going to ask you tomorrow about your juice cleanse, you aren’t going to eat twinkies and popcorn today. Choosing a detox program with a group element will increase your changes for success 100 fold (this is not scientific, this is me using a catch phrase). You will be sharing in others’ successes AND failures, and they will be there to pick you up when you slip and high-five you when you are kicking ass. I grew up in team sports, and I cannot image living on detox island and hoping I survive. I recommend going group!
5. Take Action
Set your goals, do your research, check to see what elements you can maintain, find a buddy (or 10), and TAKE ACTION. Follow through on yourself. It just takes one step in forward motion to have progress. And one step forward with a community and accountability group feels like 10! You may not choose the right detox program for you on your initial try, but you can learn from every step you take…but you first must take it.
I went to a few yoga classes this week after starting my rough draft of this blog post. Many times at the beginning of class, the instructor will ask that you set an intention for the time on your mat. Often it is a feeling; other times it is just one word that comes to mind that you can focus on when the yoga begins to get difficult.
This week a few things kept coming up as my intentions for my yoga class. One in particular was “take action”.
In focusing on taking action this week, I realized that this post really could be a post about life. How To Make the Most of Your Day. How to Cut the Crap That Wastes Your Precious Time. How To Quit Things That Kill Your Spirit. Do you see where I am going? Set some goals, do some research and maybe read a few books, decide if the goals and lengths you’ll go to to reach them are sustainable and maintainable, find an accountability partner, and take action. I love it! While you’re at it, find a detox!
As you reflect on these things, trust yourself. And be quiet long enough to listen.